Brad Finkel has been named Director of JCC Camp Chi, it was announced today by Todd Braman, vice president, JCC Chicago. Finkel most recently served as Associate Director of the camp and replaces Ron Levin, who will retire in March 2017 after 37 years as Director of Camp Chi.
Finkel began his career with JCC Chicago in 1994 and since that time has held key leadership positions at Camp Chi and overseen nearly every aspect of camp. He was named associate director of Camp Chi in 2005. Before that, he was assistant director, program director, teen camp director and was a village leader and counselor during the first four years of his career.
"Brad provides outstanding vision, is respected by families and staff alike, and is uniquely positioned to achieve the goals of Camp Chi's strategic plan," said Braman. "Brad, Ron and their senior staff have continually collaborated to create new programs, innovative opportunities for year-round engagement and diversified camp experiences for children, teens, families, parents and grandparents."
Finkel's leadership style blends an unmatched, lifelong love of camp and a strong, strategic approach to continually grow the business. For more than two decades, he has been an integral part of the leadership team that has built a national reputation for Camp Chi and grown the content and participation of signature camp programs. Some key accomplishments include:
- The Modern Israel Historical Program is now a key component of camp life and includes recruitment of talented Israeli staff members each summer and the seamless integration of Jewish values - respect (kavod), kindness (chesed), community (kehillah) into camp life.
- Chi Town Connections, Camp Chi's year round teen engagement experience, was reimagined, as was the Staff In Training (SIT) program that grew into a sought after leadership training program for high schoolers.
- Working closely with JCC Chicago Day Camps to create a financial incentive for families interested in both programs during one summer.
- Growth of the preeminent teen tour experience to the Pacific Northwest, PNW, from 15 campers during its first summer to more than 90 campers in 2016.
- Creation of unbreakable partnerships with Keshet and Camp Firefly to serve 125 campers with special needs and to create a fully inclusive camp experience that has garnered national attention and been a life-changing opportunity for children and teens over the last two decades.
A graduate of Indiana University, Finkel also received a Masters in Jewish Professional Studies from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. He is currently part of the 2020 Beyond Leadership Cohort, an intensive, executive development program.
Finkel and his wife, Rachael, live in Buffalo Grove with their two children, both of whom are Camp Chi campers.